Top 10 Things to Do in the Cape Overberg Region

The Cape Overberg Region is a special part of South Africa’s Western Cape province. Here, unspoilt beaches, rich birdlife, rolling farmlands and impressive mountains reign supreme. 

With diverse, beautiful landscapes (home to some of South Africa’s most unique, rare flora and fauna), wonderful accommodation and eateries and plenty of indoor and outdoor fun for all ages, the Cape Overberg Region is one of the best parts of South Africa to explore.

Whether you love getting out in nature or visiting cosy town markets, this special region has something fun for all.

Here are are the top ten things to do in the Cape Overberg Region:

#1 Explore De Hoop Nature Reserve

Arguably one of the most incredible attractions in the Overberg Region is the De Hoop Nature Reserve, which is also home to the famous Whale Trail hike.

De Hoop is one of the largest natural areas in South Africa. This gorgeous reserve is situated some three hours’ away from Cape Town and is a favourite among hikers, cyclists, bird- and whale-watchers and nature lovers alike.

With the neighbouring marine reserve, which extends 5km out to sea, De Hoop Nature Reserve is a freeing, beautiful part of our country.

It is also home to one of the best hiking trails in the Whale Trail. This five-day trail, which offers lovely, self-catering accommodation for each of the five nights, is one of the best coastal and mountain hikes in the world.

If you are not brave enough to tackle the 55-km Whale Trail hike, then why not enjoy wildlife or seasonal whale watching, swimming, MTB trails and other day hikes in this spectacular reserve?

For entrance fees and opening times, please see here.

Contact: +27 (087) 087 8250, (bookings) reservation.alert@capenature.co.za

Website: www.capenature.co.za/reserves/de-hoop-nature-reserve

Address: De Hoop Nature Reserve, Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#2 Go for a Gansbaai Horse Ride

Pearly Beach Horse Trails via Facebook
Pearly Beach Horse Trails via Facebook

With Pearly Beach Horse Trails in Gansbaai, you can check your dream of riding a horse in nature off your bucket list! This popular tour company offers a range of incredible trails – everything from the mountain fynbos trail to sunset and full moon trails – for riders to enjoy.

The trails are suitable for all levels of riders, so novices and experienced riders alike are welcome.

At R900 per person, this 2.5-3-hour riding experience is good value for money and provides you with a memorable experience, which includes photo/drone/GoPro video package (when possible) as well as light refreshments.

For more information on trails and bookings, please see here.

Contact: +27 (083) 427 5674, info@pbhorsetrails.co.za

Website: pbhorsetrails.co.za

Address: Pearly Beach Horse Trails, Portion 1, Farm 321, Kleyn Hagel Kraal, Gansbaai, Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#3 Enjoy (Seasonal) Whale Watching

While Hermanus is certainly considered the whale watching capital of South Africa and offers arguably the best whale watching opportunities around – there are many other places throughout the Overberg Region where you can chance to see whales during the whale season (usually June – November).

De Hoop Nature Reserve is another fine place for enjoying whale watching but most coastal-lying places, including De Kelders, Pearly Beach, Kleinmond and Gansbaai also allow you to spot these majestic mammals.

Contact: +27 (028) 313 8038/5022, capewhalecoast@overstrand.gov.za

Website: whalecoast.info/whale-watching-cape-whale-coast

Address: Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

whalecoast.info
whalecoast.info

#4 Visit a Local Town Market

Many Overberg towns – including Greyton, Stanford and Hermanus – have popular markets you can visit and enjoy.

There is also the innovative Elgin Railway Market, a steam-punk-inspired market that is popular among a variety of travellers and great for all ages.

Each of these markets offers their own unique offerings, experiences and fun for all ages. Whether you stock up on take-home goodies, browse the varied stalls or feast on foodie finds, these Cape Overberg markets are sure to delight.

For more information on Cape Overberg Markets, please see here. 

Website: capemarkets.co.za

Address: Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#5 Tackle Incredible MTB Trails

From Elgin to verdant Swellendam, the Cape Overberg Region offers some of the best MTB trails you will find anywhere in South Africa – and indeed, the world!

Almost each Overberg town, from Greyton to Hermanus, has some excellent MTB trails or facilities for riders to enjoy.

Here are some of the most notable trail networks for keen riders to enjoy:

  • Klipspringer MTB (Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy)
  • Grabouw Forest Trail Network
  • Greyton MTB Trails
  • Hermanus (Hemel-en-Aarde Valley) Trails
  • Oak Valley Estate and Elgin Valley
  • Swellendam Trails (various)Website: www.trailforks.com/region/overberg-district; www.visitswellendam.co.za/mountain-bike

Address: Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#6 Enjoy a Waterfall Hike in Swellendam’s Marloth Nature Reserve

Hidden in the beautiful Marloth Nature Reserve in Swellendam is the scenic Duiwelsbos hiking trail, which leads to a special waterfall.

This 2-km hike takes roughly 1.5 hours to complete and is generally suitable for children and adults to enjoy together.

The waterfall and pool that lies below it are wonderful to discover and reward you with pure natural beauty after your sweat-inducing hike.

Along the way, you can enjoy the rich beauty of Marloth, with its many trees, mossy rocks and crystal streams.

Note: A Cape Nature hiking permit is required for this hike. This can be purchased from the Marloth office. For more info, see here.

Contact: +27 (028) 514 1410; (accommodation and permits) +27 (087) 087 8250, reservation.alert@capenature.co.za

Website: www.capenature.co.za/duiwelsbos-devilishly-delightful-hike

Address: Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#7 Ride the Sand Dunes in Gansbaai

www.fatbiketours.co.za
www.fatbiketours.co.za

With Fatbike Tours, young (ages 8 and up) and old can enjoy riding the sand dunes of De Kelders, near Gansbaai.

There is the Sand Dunes Trail (which takes you from Grootbos Nature Reserve down the mountain to the sand dunes) or the Dunes Sunset Tour, which rewards you with special sunset memories.

These fun tours offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride sand dunes on comfy, durable Fatbikes.

Tours include basic necessities, such as the Fatbike, transport to the dunes, high quality photos, light refreshments and reserve fees etc.

For more info or to book a tour, please see here.

Contact: +27 (082) 466 4519, info@fatbiketours.co.za

Website: www.fatbiketours.co.za/fatbike-trails

Address: Fatbike Tours, 63 Ingang Street, De Kelders, Gansbaai, Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#8 Explore Local Wineries: From Elgin to Hermanus and Beyond

Another thing the Cape Overberg Region offers is incredible wineries. These span from Elgin to Hermanus and beyond.

There are a variety of different wine routes to enjoy in the Cape Overberg Region. These include the following:

  • Elgin (famed for its cool climate wines)
  • Stanford
  • Bot River
  • Hermanus
  • Theewaterskloof
  • Elim/Agulhas/Malgas

Each of these unique wine routes offers a lovely array of wine farms, with different activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

Many of the wine farms also offer on-site restaurants, accommodation and beautiful gardens for exploring too.

Contact: +27 (060) 395 6565, hanlie@thewineguides.co.za

Website: overbergwine.com/wine-routes

Address: Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#9 Enjoy a Private Visit to Klein River Cheese

kleinrivercheese.co.za
kleinrivercheese.co.za

Another excellent Overberg attraction is Klein River Cheese. Here, on this peaceful farm, you can enjoy quality time in the countryside with your friends and family.

This popular farmstead can be visited by appointment only so no walk-in visitors and picnics are permitted. (Note: Their retail space now calls Walker Bay Estate and Birkenhead Brewery home.)

The farm kindly hosts seasonal and exclusive events so keep an eye on their social feeds for these exciting offerings.

Contact: +27 (028) 341 0693, info@kleinrivercheese.co.za

Website: kleinrivercheese.co.za

Address: Klein River Cheese Farmstead, Route 326, Stanford, Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

#10 Go Shark Cage Diving

Last but far from least we have the try-it-if-you-dare shark cage diving opportunities that one can enjoy in the Cape Overberg Region.

Gansbaai is known as the Great White Capital of the World so it is no surprise to learn that shark cage diving is an adventurous activity that thrives in and around this area.

There are a variety of tour operators who offer adrenaline-inducing tours (not for the faint-hearted…), including Shark Cage Diving Gansbaai, Marine Dynamics and White Shark Cage Diving to name a few.

If you are brave enough to get in the waters (albeit in a cage) with these Great White Sharks, then you will probably love this unique experience.

Tour pricing and offerings vary, so please contact the tour operator of your choice for more information and pricing.

Address: Cape Overberg Region, Western Cape, South Africa.

Book your Overberg stay now!

Top 20 Hermanus Activities 2017.

The seaside town of Hermanus not only considers itself to be the (land-based) whale capital of the world but, all whales aside, this popular travel destination also offers visitors a range of top class restaurants, fun experiences and awesome indoor/outdoor adventures to enjoy.

Here are some of the best experiences to partake in during 2017:

#1 Have a whale of a time

Every year, from June to December, this coastal village becomes a haven for the whales, who migrate back to these shores annually to calve and mate. Because of this, Hermanus is now known as the land-based whale capital of the year.

Not only do they have their own Whale Festival – but there are plenty of ways to watch the whales – whether it’s from shore or out at sea, like with Southern Right Charters’ whale-watching tours.

Contact: (082) 353 0550

Website: southernrightcharters.co.za

Address: Southern Right Charters, Hermanus, Western Cape

#2 Head to Grotto Beach

This blue flag beach is one of Hermanus’s most popular attractions and is simply a must when visiting, especially since it offers a massive, sandy stretch of shoreline, with glorious views of mountain and sea alike.

The beach is also dog-friendly… provided you keep your pooches leashed and clean up after them at all times!

Contact: (028) 312 3180

Website: www.hermanus.co.za

Address: Grotto Street, Hermanus, Western Cape

#3 Get active in Fernkloof Nature Reserve

This beautiful reserve offers a glorious escape into nature… Covering some 18 square km, the reserve provides visitors with a chance to experience some amazing hiking, cycling and walking trails, all while taking in unique Cape fauna and flora in the process.

Contact: (028) 313 0819

Website: www.fernkloof.org.za

Address: Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Hermanus, Western Cape

#4 Explore the Hermanus Country Market

Every Saturday, visitors can enjoy this fun country market, which offers organic produce, fresh herbs, food and wine stalls, home-grown goods, trinkets, jams, deli eats and more.

Be sure to pop on by and experience a market, Hermanus-style.

Contact: (072) 883 3894

Website: hermanuscountrymarket.co.za

Address: Fairways Avenue & Jose Burman Drive, Hermanus, Western Cape

#5 Visit Lembu Gallery & Studio

Lembu Gallery is a wondrous place – located within a hundred-year-old fisherman’s cottage – for art lovers and aspiring artists to explore.

With works from across the globe (though there’s a firm focus on African works), Lembu offers a creative escape and makes for a unique addition to Hermanus.

Contact: (028) 312 1187

Website: www.lembu.co.za

Address: 10 Harbour Road, Hermanus, Western Cape

#6 Enjoy top class wine tasting at Creation Wines

A wine lovers’ paradise: Creation Wines offers both sustainable, award-winning wines and immaculate facilities. They also enjoy a stunning setting in the highly sought-after Walker Bay wine region.

At the estate, visitors will also encounter the delightful Creation Wines Restaurant, which is the perfect place to eat after some quality wine tasting at the Tasting Room.

Contact: (028) 212 1107

Website: www.creationwines.com

Address: Hemel en Aarde Road, Hermanus, Western Cape

www.roxannereid.co.za
www.roxannereid.co.za

#7 Visit The Whale House Museum

Learn more about this migrating mammals (and other sea creatures) at The Whale House Museum.

Educate yourself with some cool audio-visual shows, photographic exhibitions, a life-sized whale display and informative installations too.

Contact: (028) 313 0418

Website: www.southafrica.net

Address: The Whale House Museum, Hermanus, Western Cape

#8 Savour Bouchard Finlayson’s world-class wines

This internationally renowned boutique winery is definitely the place to go if you’re after some interesting wine experiences and/or tastings.

They offer a selection of different wine tastings (some of which may leave your purse much lighter than before…)… Yet, with such a stellar reputation across the local and international wine industry, you know you’re in for a quality offering no matter which you opt in for.

Contact: (028) 312 3515

Website: www.bouchardfinlayson.co.za

Address: R320, Hermanus, Western Cape

#9 Relax at Voelklip Beach

This small, sandy beach is a popular spot for surfing but it also features grassy lawns, ideal for outdoor picnics when the weather’s fair.

There are also some rocky coves close at hand; these help to add a sense of secluded beach lounging. The beach has basic ablution facilities, but parking is quite limited.

Contact: n/a

Website: hermanus.co.za

Address: Voelklip Beach, Hermanus, Western Cape

#10 Tuck in at Betty Blue Bistro

Undoubtedly one of Hermanus’s most well-loved and highly rated eateries, Betty Blue Bistro is a dash of colour and food passion in the Main Road – and as such, it is an experience in and of itself.

They specialise in delicious light meals, like healthy breakfasts, mouth-watering pancake varieties, soups, burgers and chips and of course, decadent sweet stuff too!

Contact: (028) 125 0037

Website: bettbluebistrohermanus.com

Address: 126 Main Road, Hermanus, Western Cape

 

 

 

 

Betty Blue Bistro via Twitter
Betty Blue Bistro via Twitter

#11 Stay a while at Sumaridge Wine Estate

This estate lies between two mountain ranges and enjoys commanding sea views, so not only is it blessed with a spectacular setting – but it also offers visitors award-winning wines.

If you wish to spend some time in literal heaven-on-earth, then book a seven-day plus accommodation getaway at Sumaridge’s The Lodge: a secluded, five-room house, which is both child- and wheelchair-friendly.

Contact: (028) 312 1097

Website: www.sumaridge.co.za

Address: Upper Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Western Cape

#13 Bend a bowstring with Hermanus Field Archery Club

Try your hand at the ancient technique of archery – a learned skill dating back to 10,000 BC – with the Hermanus Field Archery Club (HFAC).

The club offers a professional range of targets between 10 – 80 yards, and a circular course with 28 different stations. The picturesque course is nestled among fynbos and pines.

Contact: n/a

Website: www.wparchery.org

Address: R43, between Kleinmond and Bot River turn-offs, Hermanus, Western Cape

#14 Indulge your inner bookworm at Hemingway’s Bookshop

Not only has this little bookshop been featured in the New York Times but its fame has reached many other corners of the globe – and as such, it is internationally recognised as a book lover’s essential port of call.

If you’re after seeing rare, unobtainable or simply out-of-print books, this wondrous place is a must when in Hermanus.

Contact: (028) 312 2739

Website: www.hermanus.co.za

Address: Warrington Place, 4 Harbour Road, Hermanus, Western Cape

melkbos.net
melkbos.net

#15 Tackle Hermanus MTB Trails

Starting at the Hemel-en-Aarde Village, these four different MTB trails will plunge riders deep into the heart of Hemel-en-Aarde’s raw, natural beauty.

Choose between the blue, green, red and black trails; each track comes with its own level of difficulty, so riders of all classes and styles will be well catered for.

Contact: (082) 828 6567

Website: www.hermanusadventures.co.za

Address: Hemel-en-Aarde Village, Hermanus, Western Cape

#16 Stop by Benguela Cove Estate

If it is memorable wine tasting that you’re after, then Benguela Cove Estate is the place for you. But what’s more, this stunning estate also offers a very elegant restaurant for visitors to enjoy a meal at.

What’s more, wine tasting out on the lagoon aboard a serene cruise on a 12-seater pontoon called Lady Bonnie is pretty epic too!

Contact: 083 645 6198

Address: Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate, R43, Bot River Lagoon, Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa.

Website: www.benguelacove.co.za

#17 Revisit the past at De Wet’s Huis

In 1983, museum staff dismantled the old Dutch Reform Sunday School house and transported its numbered stones and timber off to a new location and then, in 1987, the cottage was rebuilt in Fishermen’s Village. Today, it houses an amazing photo museum with a photographic exhibition of old Hermanus, dating back to the last century.

There are also trophies, furniture and a herb garden to be seen at this history-holding little cottage.

Contact: (028) 312 1475/2629

Website: www.old-harbour-museum.co.za

Address: Hermanus, Western Cape

#18 Visit Hamilton Russel Vineyards

Located close to the sea, Hamilton Russell Vineyards is one of the most southerly wine estates in Africa. It falls under the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley: a place just behind Hermanus, that is famed for its rural, natural beauty.

The estate specialises in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, so if you visit, be sure to get a bottle to enjoy at home or sample a glass while at the estate.

Contact: (028) 312 3595

Website: www.hamiltonrussellvineyards.com

Address: R320 Hemel-En-Aarde Valley, Hermanus, Western Cape

#19 Take in the views at Kwaaiwater

Like its name implies, during high tide, this amazing viewing spot is surrounded by angry waters that froth and foam…

The rest of the time, however, this little rocky beach of sorts (reached via the delightful Cliff Walk) is a great place to take in some fauna, flora and of course, those irritated waters too…

Contact: n/a

Website: n/a

Address: Hermanus, Western Cape

hermanuswineroute.com
hermanuswineroute.com

#20 Discover Hoy’s Koppie for yourself

Known as the ‘Jewel of Hermanus’, Hoy’s Koppie provides visitors with a glimpse into both the area’s history and nature.

Part of the Fernkloof Reserve, Hoy’s Koppie – now named for the pioneering Scot, Sir William Hoy, who loved hiking up it (though it used to be called Klip Kop in olden times) – provides eager explorers with an easy walk up its isolate location, 75-metres above sea level.

Contact: (028) 313 8111

Website: www.capetownetc.com

Address: Hermanus, Western Cape

These are just a few of the many reasons to explore this captivating Western Cape coastal town… it’s no wonder the whales love Hermanus so much!